Cagayan de Oro City- In celebration of the World Water Day with the international theme “Leaving no one behind” and local theme “Hawak Kamay, Tubig Kaagapay” with regional tagline FoRIVER-Together forever for cleaner rivers and hashtag #RiversForLife, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 10 (DENR 10) headed by Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable conducted a clean-up activity on the creeks of Barangay Macabalan on March 22, 2019, this City.

The activity was participated in by more than 1,900 volunteers coming from various national government agencies (NGAs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), private companies, civil society organizations (CSOs), academe and the local government unit of Barangay Macabalan.

In behalf of DENR 10 Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable, DENR-Environmental Management Bureau 10 (EMB-10) Regional Director Reynaldo Digamo during the opening ceremony thanked all participating agencies for attending the activity and congratulated all women present for celebrating Women’s Month this March.

RD Digamo in his message discussed the 10-point agenda of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu particularly the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Solid Waste Management Act (R.A. 9003) which is generally associated with the World Water Day 2019 clean-up activity.

He also cited in his message the effects of climate change as the one of the causes of the El Niño phenomenon that most of us are experiencing now and the water crisis that Metro Manila residents have experienced.

Prior to the proper clean-up activity, Ms. Kristine A. Galarrita, the Program Manager of Macajalar Bay Development Alliance discussed the importance of the World Water Day 2019 celebration. Ms. Angel Christery B. Castino of DENR 10 led the recitation of Tayo ang Kalikasan (TAK) Pledge. Regional Executive Director Arleigh J. Adorable led the signing of the TAK Pledge Wall with other officials from different offices and organizations.

Volunteers clear-out seven areas during the activity include the clogged creeks of Cilrai, Piaping Puti, Piaping Itum, Punta, Barra Proper/Shoreline, Barra Riverside and Accretion which is extremely dumped with various waste materials.

A total of 10,938 kilograms of trash such as plastics/plastic bottles, cigarette butts, cellophanes, rotten clothes, diapers, food and candy wrappers, old tires and other wastes were mostly collected during the activity.

Meanwhile on March 25 during the Monday flag raising ceremony, DENR 10 RED Adorable took the opportunity to thank DENR 10 employees, the Environmental Management Bureau and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and all participating agencies and stakeholders who attended the simultaneous clean-up. He hoped that through this noble cause, the city council as well as the barangay council could help implement more stricter ordinances related to Solid Waste Management Act to save our rivers.

On the other hand, a clean-up activity was also undertaken on the same day (March 22) by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Misamis Oriental and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Initao at Bitan-ag Creek, Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City while CENRO-Gingoog City along the Gahub river in Gingoog City.

In Lanao del Norte, CENRO-Iligan conducted clean-up activity in Baloi River on March 15, PENRO-Lanao del Norte and CENRO Kolambugan in Maranding River. In PENRO-Camiguin, a clean-up was also conducted in Guinsiliban River on March 20, 2019 and an Information, Education and Communication campaign was conducted in Lawigan Bura National High School, Guinsiliban on March 22.

A bamboo planting and river clean-up was also conducted along Aloran River, Aloran, Misamis Occidental. The activity was spearheaded and attended by CENRO-Oroquieta City personnel with the local community in the area. #TayoAngKalikasan (RSCIS, MR # 04-099-2019)